Vegetarian’s Perspective of Nutrition

By : | | On : July 31, 2012 | Category : Food & Health, Healthy Living, Uncategorized

“There is something beneficial for human health and it increase the chances of survival in this world by developing a vegetarian diet.” (Albert Einstein ).

Fasting is a trend prevalent in developed countries. From a nutritional perspective, fasting helps prevent many diseases. However, there are some issues we need to note, especially for vegetarians who are absolute and permanent.

There are several types of vegetarians 

There are many different variations on the vegetarian world, but together there are 4 common types– The first are vegans which means absolutely no meat, poultry, fish, milk and other dairy products, eggs.

A popular yet different different form of vegetarianism is  “semi-vegetarian,” who do not consume red meats such as beef and lamb.  In addition, there are those who only occasionally eat fruits and vegetables, or eat fish, mussels, clams, shrimp, crab.

Benefits of Being a Vegetarian

A vegetarian diet has less cholesterol, less saturated fatty acids, and  more unsaturated double bond, vitamin E, C. for antioxidant effect so fasting consistently is recommended by the  U.S. in “Guidelines to prevent chronic diseases.” Vegetarians have lower LDL-cholesterol, atherosclerotic index lower and higher HDL-cholesterol, which helps prevent many diseases such as:

– Obesity: the vegetarian diet with less fat, more slowly absorbed carbohydrate.

– High Blood Pressure by dietions who consume low amounts of alcohol, low in sodium, and high in potassium.

– Coronary heart disease: the low-fat, low animal protein, more vegetable protein, more fiber, more slowly absorbed carbohydrates and unsaturated fat.

– Type 2 diabetes: the more slowly absorbed carbohydrates and fiber.

– Gallstones: due to the fiber.

– Constipation: due to the fiber.

– Cancer (breast, colon):  high in fiber, fruit and vegetables rich in antioxidant vitamins and anti-cancer, animal protein and less fat, more slowly absorbed carbohydrate.

– Dementia: due to eating more veggies, fruits, nuts, and fish; avoiding saturated and trans fat

– Stroke: due to less saturated fat and cholesterol, but more slowly absorbed carbohydrate.

– Osteoporosis: due to less protein, especially protein coming from animals.

– diverticulitis: due to the high-fiber.

In addition, vegans are less likely to end up with appendicitis, diaphragmatic hernia, irritable bowel syndrome, hemorrhoids and varicose veins.  However, the type vegetarian diet can be a difference in making it balanced or unbalanced

-The Common Nutritional Problems in Fasting and How to Fix It

If vegetarians are eating the right foods and the right amount, they will not be lacking the essential amino acid, vitamin B12, energy, zinc, and iron.

Energy: A vegetarian diet often has less energy due to less fat and blood to the stomach. Lack of energy can occur in people who need to increase the demand for energy in growing children, pregnant women, breastfeeding women and patients who are in the recovery phase. So note: Get the calories needed by eating more snacks and use of plant foods rich in energy such as oil seeds, and soy milk.

Protein: The protein amount was more than the nutritional needs of the U.S. RDA recommendations. However, protein-rich plant foods often lack some essential amino acids such as lysine (rice, corn, wheat), threonine (rice), tryptophan (corn) and methionine (legumes). But the status of amino acid imbalance will not occur if we know how to coordinate the type of plant protein in the following way:

– Legumes and nuts, for example: porridge with sesame and beans.

– Cereals and their vegetables, for example, rice with beans, bean soup with bread …

– Cereals and dairy products, for example, bread with milk, rice or noodles with cheese.

– Vegetables can be eaten with rice, oil seeds, cheese, wheat germ.

For children under 24 months old, they can switch methionine for milk formula made from soy.

Iron: In advanced countries, iron deficiency anemia in vegetarians is rare because they eat more vegetables and fruits (especially oranges, lemons, cantaloupe, peppers, tomatoes, broccoli … ) that contains vitamin C, which enhances iron absorption and overwhelms the absorption inhibition of phytic acid, oxalic acid, tannic acid … However, for pregnant women, nursing mothers, infants, children puberty, or athletes who have lost much blood, you should use iron supplements. In our country, vegetarians who fast should be absolute in iron deficiency.

Vitamin B12: Vitamin B12 deficiency causes macrocytic anemia or nerve disease, can occur in absolute vegetarians because plant foods do not contain vitamin B12. Yeast, marine algae, beer and other fermented foods have B12 levels vary greatly, and they have lots of “like vitamin B12” which should be able to reduce absorption of vitamin B12.Therefore, the need to supplement vitamin B12 for vegetarians are pregnant women, breastfeeding women, and especially the elderly (because usually accompanied by decreased absorption of vitamin B12 due to lack of intrinsic factor). For vegetarians, consuming milk and eggs can help resolve this issue.

Zinc: Zinc deficiency can occur in vegans because the plant foods decrease absorption by phytic acid, oxalates, fiber and soy protein.Elderly people (whether vegetarian or not) also are at risk of zinc deficiency. So, maybe by oral supplementation with zinc or zinc-containing pellets.

Quality of calcium: A vegetarian diet can lower dietary calcium recommendations needs, but rarely does this happen. The incidence of osteoporosis in vegetarians is lower than non-vegetarian. It occurs less because a  vegetarian diet consumes less protein and should help increase calcium absorption while the amount of calcium excreted in the urine is decreased. However, those who are pregnant or are lactating should increase the amount of calcium by taking supplements.

Vitamin D: Vitamin D deficiency can occur only with those not exposed to sunlight, which is good for vegetarians but for those who are breastfeeding for more than 6 months and are without sunlight, it is recommended that they take supplements of vitamin D.

Thus, we can choose any type of vegetarian diet, but it is important to know how to balance the nutrients properly. Perhaps, it is best to periodically fast in between because both enjoy the benefits of a vegetarian diet, which against, can prevent certain diseases.

Just remember to make up the nutrients that you are not able to get from meat by consuming other food groups available to you or taking supplements.

This post is also available in: Vietnamese

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